OFA provides comments to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry regarding Ontario’s strategy to address the threat of invasive wild pigs. Wild pig populations, if they become established, pose significant risks to the pork industry, and can have devastating impacts on crops, animals, native wildlife and farmer livelihood. Wild pigs could decimate Ontario’s pork sector through the transmission of African Swine Fever, carried by wild pigs and transferred to domestic pig herds. OFA believes that the negative impacts on agriculture, native wildlife, ecosystems and biodiversity warrant the development and implementation of policies and programs to curtail the population growth and spread of wild pigs across Ontario. The proposed strategy acknowledges the threat wild pigs pose to the natural environment, agricultural industry and human health and safety. OFA supports a proactive approach and believes the best strategy to managing wild pigs is to act early.
The four objectives outlined in the proposed strategy will help prevent the establishment of invasive wild pigs in Ontario. OFA commends the MNRF on the collaborative nature of the proposed strategy; leveraging resources and expertise of different groups and stakeholders, and inter-governmental collaboration will help to achieve the goal of preventing the establishment of invasive wild pigs in Ontario. OFA supports this goal, and the core principles (prevention, early detection, and effective response and management) as outlined in the strategy.